Helen Keller

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Helen Keller

Imagine a life without being able to see or hear and not knowing how to communicate with anyone around you. That world of darkness is what Helen Keller lived in for six years. Helen Keller has been an inspiration to people ever since she turned six. From 1886-1960, she proved herself to be a creative and inspiring woman of America. She was a writer and lecturer who fought for the rights of disadvantaged people all over the world. Most importantly, she overcame her two most difficult obstacles, being blind and deaf. Helen Keller devoted her life to improving the education and treatment of the blind, deaf, and mute and fighting for minorities as well. Miss Keller was one of the first to educate the public and make them aware of inflicted individuals' potential. Because of her persistence and strength, she is considered a creative and unique spirit by many people of the world, especially those who can relate to her physical impairments.

Helen Keller was born a healthy child. When Helen was 19 months old, she became ill with what was known as acute congestion of the brain and stomach; this is now known as scarlet fever. As a result, she was left blind, deaf, and mute. For many of her earlier years Helen lived in darkness with very few ways to communicate with others around her. Obviously her attempts were not always successful. When she failed to communicate she would throw fits and have outburst that would upset not only her, but her family as well. Because of these violent fits, she appeared to be a very unruly child, but underneath all of the tragedy was a future inspirational figure that would surprise the world with amazing and countless abilities.

A large amount of Helen's accomplishments would not have been possible if it weren't for her mother and father. Her parents read about Samuel Gridley Howe's accomplishments with the deaf and blind at the Perkins Institution in Boston. With this knowledge, her father brought his daughter to Alexander Graham Bell, a family friend who was well known in society. Bell was so fascinated by six year old Helen that he recommended that she contact the Perkins Institute for the Blind in Boston. Anne Sullivan, who was also a recent Perkins graduate, was suggested to be Helen's teacher by Michael Anagnos. Michael Anagnos was the professor of Samuel Gridley Howe, a gentleman who ...

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...ce movement before World War I.

Many agencies and institutions have been named after Helen Keller as well. Helen Keller International was set-up to fight blindness in the world. Currently, Helen Keller International is one of the biggest organizations that works with the blind overseas ("The Life" 3). In 1986, the Industrial Home for the Blind was renamed to Helen Keller Services for the Blind. This agency provides special services for the blind in New York. Because of her attempts and struggles, the blind now have better care, training, and employment. "I am a beneficiary of her work. Because of her example, the world has given way a little," says David Jackson, a blind jazz singer (Shuur 2).

Works Cited

Ashby, Ruth, and Deborah Gore Orhn. Herstory. New York: The Penguin Group, 1995.

Briggs, ASA. A Dictionary of 20th Century World Biographies. New York: Oxford, 1992.

Shuur, Diane. "The Miracle: Helen Keller." Time. 1999 http://www.time.com (2 Feb. 2000)

"The Life of Helen Keller." RNIB. 1999 http://www.rnib.org.uk (28 Jan. 2000)

"The Life of Helen Keller: An American Hero." Helen Keller International. 1999

http://www.hki.org (4 Feb. 2000)

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